Table 1

Indicators of inputs in the healthcare sector in Cuba

IndicatorCuban proportionsLatin American average without Cuba
Physicians per 100 000 (2015)782.85157.88*
Growth in physicians per capita, 1975–2015684.00%N/A
Workers employed in healthcare as share of total population4.42%N/A
Health expenditures as share of GDP (2011)10.5%6.74%†
  • Note: The share of GDP figure is very likely misleading. It is probably higher because GDP is overestimated,37 and large portions of healthcare expenditures are allocated to medical tourists who are lured to Cuba with the appeal of reduced-rate medical procedures and to members of the regime who have substantially superior healthcare.46 In addition, there is also the role of underground clinics, where some patients expend private resources to obtain care.

  • Sources: See ref 8; Pan American Health Organization56 World Health Organization57.

  • *The WHO data repository did not provide observations for all countries in Latin America. The lowest value was 47.3 physicians per 100 000 inhabitants in Bolivia, and the highest value was 376.2 physicians per 100 000 inhabitants in Argentina.

  • †The proportion for Latin American countries includes private expenditures. The level of public expenditures is lower: 3.86% of GDP.

  • GDP, gross domestic product; N/A, not available.